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Tokyo stocks fall as tech shares sold on profit-taking

A woman wearing a protective mask rides a bicycle in front of an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm on June 9, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks fell Wednesday as technology shares were sold on profit-taking, while many investors took to the sidelines ahead of key U.S. economic data later this week.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 102.76 points, or 0.35 percent, from Tuesday at 28,860.80. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished lower 5.51 points, or 0.28 percent, at 1,957.14.

    Decliners were led by marine transportation, pulp and paper, and securities house issues.

    The U.S. dollar hovered around the mid-109 yen range amid a wait-and-see mood before the release of the U.S. consumer price index for May due out Thursday, dealers said.

    At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 109.44-45 yen compared with 109.43-53 yen in New York and 109.52-53 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.2182-2184 and 133.32-36 yen against $1.2168-2178 and 133.23-33 yen in New York and $1.2171-2173 and 133.30-34 yen in Tokyo late Tuesday afternoon.

    The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond dipped 0.005 percentage point from Tuesday's close to 0.065 percent as the debt was bought following an overnight advance in the U.S. Treasury market.

    Tokyo stocks lost ground throughout the day as investors locked in gains in many high-tech shares following their recent gains, brokers said.

    "Investors in Japan focused on selling high-priced semiconductor shares, tracking their overnight U.S. peers," said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.

    Investors also remained cautious ahead of the release of the U.S. consumer price data, as a strong result for April brought a sharp increase in long-term U.S. interest rates and fears about early monetary stimulus tapering, he said.

    Among semiconductor-related issues, Tokyo Electron lost 1,450 yen, or 3.0 percent, to 46,820 yen, silicon wafer manufacturer Shin-Etsu Chemical fell 410 yen, or 2.2 percent, to 18,595 yen, and ceramic electronic component maker Taiyo Yuden dropped 190 yen, or 3.5 percent, to 5,190 yen.

    Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai surged 1,504 yen, or 16.3 percent, to 10,755 yen, ending limit up for the second day after its jointly developed drug for Alzheimer's disease with U.S. biotech giant Biogen Inc. was approved Monday by U.S. regulators.

    Also bucking the downward trend, oil-related stocks gained after U.S. crude oil futures rose Tuesday to the highest level since October 2018, with buying spurred by anticipation for expanding demand for post-COVID-19 travel.

    Explorer Inpex rose 20 yen, or 2.5 percent, to 821 yen, and Japan Petroleum Exploration grew 8 yen, or 0.4 percent, to 2,027 yen.

    On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,106 to 972, while 115 ended unchanged.

    Trading volume on the main section rose to 994.45 million shares from Tuesday's 928.66 million shares.

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